EAGAN, Minn. — Kene Nwangwu's third career kickoff return for a touchdown helped the second-year pro garner his second NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honor.
Nwangwu weaved his way through blocks and tight-roped the Vikings sideline for a 97-yard return that evened the score between the Vikings and Patriots at 23 early in the third quarter on Thanksgiving.
The thrilling play provided the scoreboard equalizer and sideline energizer for Minnesota, which prevailed 33-26 over New England to improve to 9-2 this season.
A fourth-round pick in 2021, Nwangwu has the most kickoff return touchdowns since entering the league. His first was a 98-yarder at Baltimore that helped him garner NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors in Week 9. His second was 99 yards at San Francisco in Week 12, helping him set an NFL record for fewest games (five) with two kick return touchdowns.
Nwangwu's three kickoff return touchdowns rank third in Vikings all-time history behind five each by Percy Harvin and Cordarrelle Patterson.
The Vikings have now had five players win an NFC Player of the Week award under first-year Head Coach Kevin O'Connell.
NFC Players of the Week
Week 4 vs. New Orleans in London: Greg Joseph, K (Special Teams)
Week 6 at Miami: Ryan Wright, P (Special Teams)
Week 8 vs. Arizona: Za'Darius Smith, OLB (Defensive)
Week 10 at Buffalo: Justin Jefferson, WR (Offensive)
Week 12 vs. New England: Kene Nwangwu, RB/KR (Special Teams)